Coding and Inclusion

Those of you who have read my Poppy O’Possum review know that I have strong opinions about coding – the practice of associating fictional characters with real-world groups of people through the use of “coded” traits. That’s a definition that’s almost so broad as to be meaningless, though! So let’s talk more about coding and its relationship to representation.

Mail Bag #16 – Sister Claire Edition

Hey friends, just a heads up, I’m skipping this week’s update. I kinda bit off more than I could chew with a gigantic, broad topic and my current draft just isn’t something that’s good enough to publish. I’d rather take the time to get this one right. Look for it on this coming Sunday. In the meantime, let’s go through the mail! Which all seems to be about Sister Claire for some reason?

Representation and Realism

When I see a poorly-written trans character in fiction, I have a lot of reactions simultaneously. These range from the gut emotional (“wow, this writer hates people like me”) to the technical and intellectual (“wow, this is an ineffective character that detracts from the story”). But one thing I never think is “this character is unrealistic”. Why?